Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire
Aspley-Guise, formerly a town, now a village and a parish in Bedfordshire, 1½ mile from Woburn Sands station on the L. & N.W.R., and 2 miles N of Woburn. It has a post and telegraph office under Woburn, and formerly had a market. Acreage, 1899; population, 1230. The manor belonged anciently to the Guises. Aspley House and The Rookery are chief residences. Aspley Heath and Aspley Wood give fine views. The area of Aspley Heath is 600 acres; population, 451. Fuller's earth occurs. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; net yearly value, £173. Patron, the Duke of Bedford. The church is elegant, and there are Primitive Methodist and Wesleyan chapels.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Aspley-Guise St. Botolph|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1563
The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Aspley Guise: Baptisms 1563-1976, Marriages 1563-1996, Burials 1564-1994, Banns 1858-1994. Transcripts in either book or microfiche form for registers prior to 1813 can be purchased from the BLARS (see website for details).
Church of England
St. Botolph (parish church)
The parish church of St. Botolph is an elegant building in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, with organ chamber and vestry on the north, and a small chapel on the south, clerestoried nave of four bays, aisles and an embattled western tower with crocketed pinnacles and containing a clock and 6 bells: the south side was added and the whole fabric greatly enlarged and restored through the exertions and almost at the sole expense, as well as under the superintendence, of the Rev. John Vaux Moore, formerly rector: all the windows, twenty-eight in number, are stained: there is a memorial window in the vestry to H.R.H. Prince Albert, Prince Consort to Queen Victoria, placed in 1862, and three memorial windows in the south side to the Moore family: in the north aisle is an altar tomb, with fine brass effigy of a knight in plate armour, worn over a hauberk, to one of the Guise family, circa. 1501, from whom the village derives its adjunct; there is also and ancient slab, from which a floriated cross and marginal inscription are lost, but at the foot are figures in brass of a priest kneeling and St. John the Baptist standing, c. 1410, and there is a tomb with life-sized effigy in stone to Sir William de Tyrington, 1408-9; another marble monument is to the Rev. J. V. Moore: the pulpit is richly carved in oak, representing the principal incidents in the life of Our Lord: the church was restored in 1855, and in 1884 the upper portion of the tower was rebuilt at a cost of £150, and a new peal of 6 bells hung at a cost of £400; in 1890 the church was entirely restored, an organ chamber, vestries and chapel erected, and the interior reseated at a total cost of £2,200: the organ was enlarged in 1897, at a cost of £350: there are sittings for 325 persons: the burying ground was increased by the addition of an acre, situated on the opposite side of the road, the gift of the Rev. H. R. Moody, a former lord of the manor.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Aspley Guise was in Woburn Registration District from 1837 to 1899 and Ampthill Registration District from 1899 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Aspley Guise from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Aspley-Guise (St. Botolph))
- Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, and Northamptonshire, 1914
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Bedfordshire is available to browse.
Online maps of Aspley Guise are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Bedfordshire papers online:
- Bedfordshire Times and Independent
- Biggleswade Chronicle
- Luton Times and Advertiser
- Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle
Aspley Guise was in Woburn Poor Law Union from 1835-1899 when it transferred to Ampthill Poor Law Union. For further detailed history of the Ampthill Union see Peter Higginbotham's excellent resource: Ampthill Poor Law Union and Workhouse.
A full transcript of the Visitations of Bedfordshire 1566, 1582, and 1634 is available online.